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What It Means To Be A Latina Entrepreneur

What is it about Latina entrepreneurs that is so interesting to me?

I’m glad you asked!

Being a Latina entrepreneur myself, I am privy to the many facets of what it means to be one.

What is a Latina?

First, let me explain what it means to be a Latina. A Latina is a woman who was born in Latin America or whose ancestors are from the region. It is different from a Hispanic, who is from a country that speaks Spanish which includes Spain and excludes Brazil, which is in Latin America. I am both a Latina and a Hispanic woman because I was born in Cuba.

So when you hear people refer to themselves as Latina or Hispanic, now you know the difference.

Here is a great run-down by MundoJoven of MundoHispanico.

 

Pulled Between Two Worlds

Being a Latina with a career means you are constantly being pulled between two worlds. Our culture is super duper full of machismo. It’s something most of us have grown up with. It is changing, and that’s a good thing. But there is always the struggle between progress and improving and holding fast to our culture so that we do not lose that part of our identity which ties us to our history.

It is also what connects us and allows us to laugh at ourselves, our families and our customs. Here is a funny example by mitú featuring the overbearing mother cliche.

The Judgement Is Fierce

While women in general still deal with glass ceilings and issues of gender equality in the workplace, the Latina deals with that as well as the gender issues within our families and communities.

latina meme - judgement

We are still expected to be good Catholic girls growing up and prioritize being a wife and mother above all else. Whether you have a career or not, you are continuously judged on how well dressed and clean your children are and how well kept your house is. You must know how to cook delicious meals (I failed this one miserably) and keep a tidy home. A strong education and a good career path are encouraged, but those are still second to the domestic responsibilities.

I know many of my non-Latina friends face those same issues, however, in Latina culture, it is multiplied 10 times over.

Don’t Be Fancy

Then there is being an entrepreneur and all of its challenges. I don’t mean the sexy version where someone gets VC funding for an app and goes on 2 week skiing trips and barely hits the office. I’m talking about the real entrepreneur who lives, eats and breathes their business and can’t stop because it is just who they are.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work.  It’s certainly not fancy, there is always the risk of epic failure, and you are always on call. If you truly love it, then you just live it.

Latina Entrepreneur series coming soon

It is an exciting time to be a Latina boss right now. There are so many inspiring women who are slaying that I decided to kick off a series featuring their journeys.

Some of these ladies I know well and others I can’t wait to connect with and discuss what it means to be this rare species of human who is pulled in two directions at all times by some very strong life currents.

Stay tuned for the first feature. Who do you think it should be?

 

69 Responses

  1. I love how proud you are of your culture and your background! I’ll be watching to see what you come up with next – it’s always interesting to have a look into how other people see and do things, especially in regard to cultures different from my own.

  2. Thank you for this perspective. I can’t wait to learn more. As a lady myself, it can sometimes be hard juggling all life throws at us, but I love learning and seeing other women take off. keep up the good work girl!

  3. Gender equality on businesses is already being practiced around the world. In a country like yours that were not used to a woman as a boss that could be hard at first because of the discrimination but all is finite and everything will be fine.

  4. I follow a few latina women bloggers and love them! They are so full of life and always share such good content. I love learning about their backgrounds and heritage, there is so much to some of them and you cant tell until they share their stories.

  5. this is interesting! my latina friend will surely be interested in this article! im gonna recommend this to her

  6. I love learning about other cultures. You are an inspiration for being so aware of culture, the expectations, and still pursuing your dream. It is not easy to satisfy domestic expectations and still be an entrepreneur but it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it!

  7. Very similar to the ideas in the South. While not as extreme, it’s thought and encouraged that women are to be a mother/wife first and your career takes a back seat or isn’t there at all. It’s incredibly frustrating. But times are changing! Keep it up!

  8. Very interesting learning more about your culture. Women have always had to be perfect in everything we do, plus be the best mom, wife, cook and keep a clean house while being able to entertain at a moment notice, plus look good doing it.

  9. I 100% agree that being an entrepreneur is being on call all day. It’s so much work but if you’re working towards what you love, then it’s really not work at all. It’s like you’re putting in sweat equity for your future and just waiting for it to unfold for ya. I love that you’ve made a post about being a Latin entrepreneur, so lovely to see you shine light on women who are doing things. Even more, I love the series you’re coming up with!!! It’s gonna be so great and I cannot WAIT to check it out, Danay!!

    Danielle | FollowMyGut.com <3

  10. I’m Latina/Hispanic (Colombia and Spain) too. =) I think one thing you forgot to mention about Latina entrepreneurs is that like in their personal lives, in business they can be fierce in how hard they work to make their business successful. I see it over and over again. =D

  11. This is very insightful. I’ve never really given any thought about the differences in culture when it comes to handling a business. No doubt that your values are always going to be with you no matter what.

  12. A thought provoking post this. I was just speaking with my husband this morning about how these days there’s so much more opportunity for women and business, but yet there are still these gender inequality issues you speak of.

  13. Very interesting. I didn’t know the difference between Latina and Hispanic until one of my friends explained it to me. He left out the part about Brazil, tho! Good to know.

  14. Thanks for explaining the difference between Latina and Hispanic. I’ve been using them interchangeably, which was wrong.

  15. Being a white British woman it’s probably very remiss of me to say that I don’t see myself as either of these things or identify myself as such – I’m just me. Your cultural heritage obviously means a lot to you and it’s great that you embrace it!

  16. Many of my clients are either Hispanic or Latina or both. Best description I have ever read about what that means…!!! Good luck in your professional journey, be true to you.

  17. Similar heritage..family from Spain and Cuba..could be cousins😉 The one thing we all tend to share is an inherent passion for whatever we are doing.

  18. Absolutely love this post. As a Latina entrepreneur, I can attest that the struggle is real. It’s embedded in you to feel bad if your home, your meals and your kids aren’t perfect. Throw running a business in there and you’re bound to go crazy. Can’t wait to see this Latina Boss Ladies series!

  19. I’ve always wondered the difference between Latina & Hispanic so thank you for the information. I wish you the best of luck in pursuing entrepreneurship. I know you’ll kill it <3

  20. Any time you have to work with two different sets of expectations on you, pulled between two worlds life gets sticky! Thanks for sharing your struggles! I firmly believe that when we show true real life issues, someone else can find comfort that they are not alone! Great read!

  21. Thanks for sharing this! There are so many different cultures and I love learning about each one.

  22. I know exactly what you mean!! Traditional stereotypes are still very much alive and well in Latino culture. Social expectations are definitely different for men and women, and the latter are still expected to bear most of the household chores and obligations, even if they have jobs and businesses to attend to. However, the great thing about being Latino/a is that there’s always so much color and joy in your life. There’s always time to have a little fun, no matter what.
    By the way, the mami in the video cracked my up when she said, “Pizza?? Eso no es comida!!”. That’s my mom, I swear! LOL

  23. I had this conversation many years ago with a girlfriend who identified as Latina. But because she was from Brazil and spoke Portuguese and not Spanish, was ostracized by some people who didn’t understand the difference.

  24. I am excited for this series! A lot of the bloggers I see out there tend to be white women so I’m excited to learn of more Latina bloggers and entrepreneurs.

  25. I did not realize the difference between being Latin and Hispanic. I certainly understand the machoism that is dominate in your culture as well. However, I think that any strong woman can overcome all the adversity the world wants to throw at us!

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